Friday, October 31, 2008

What do you do with pent up energy?

Google brings up great images when you search for "exhausted runner".

I worked too hard this summer, but I had to, or perhaps I just thought I had to, either way, I did work too hard. I took vacation time from my day job so I could work on and I had Bill drive me to events from heck and back. (Luckily) One of the things that Bill and I have in common is an entrepreneurial streak so he gets it and supports me, otherwise it just wouldn't work.

It's a relief to me now that the triathlon season is over and I can shift my focus to other things. People often ask me if I plan to quit my day job and do full time and the answer to that is: NO. Especially not in this economy. I work in research administration at a great university and it is interesting enough to hold my attention and the whole pension thing is not too shabby either. I'm sure I could trade my job for more stress and perhaps more money, but I am content where I am and I don't see anything wrong with being content with your job.

This year I received a small promotion and became a certified project manager so I do feel like I'm growing but there is always part of me that thinks I should challenge myself more. I almost thought I was crazy for typing that just now but I do actually feel that way.

But the biggest priority for me is to get pregnant right now so I'm trying not to exhaust myself physically and mentally and that's harder than it sounds because I am a freak and enjoy exhaustion. I like to go hard and then relax hard. I'm not used to having energy.

What to do with pent up energy? (I know what you are thinking and don't worry, that activity is at the top of the list).

Our friend Sunny has been trying to get me to go mountain biking at night. I think that's what the cool kids are doing right now after work, but the poor girl hasn't figured out I'm not cool yet. My vision is bad and my mtn biking skills are average on a good day so adding in the darkness factor... I told her I would ride the bike trainer with her or go for a walk in the forest. Somehow I get along great with her even though we are going two different speeds all the time. She's a smart one about hanging out with me, this past summer we were swimming in FREEZING water so she swam nice and slow right next to me on the way out and then after we turned around she dropped me like a stone. So she made sure I swam out far and didn't turn around too soon. Smarty pants. Not going to happen with the night time mtn biking though. I'm onto her now. That didn't come out right.

Happy Halloween to all, we are having pizza downtown and then trying to figure out what to do with my pent up energy :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


As I get older I become less tolerant of certain things, and cheap shoes is near the top of the list of things I just can't deal with. I recently discovered Bogs footwear, they are a company based out of Eugene, OR and make shoes that fit the Oregon lifestyle (in the winter). I bought these boots for gardening, walking the dog on a wet day, and for cold days when I have event sales. They are waterproof and warm and best of all, have flowers printed on them. I love these boots and I honestly do not care that my husband thinks they are ugly.

My other favorite shoes brand (which also can be a bit ugly) are Earth Shoes. I found these a few years ago when my back went out. They have a negative heel and are supposed to force you into better posture. I just can't wear shoes with high heels anymore, another joy of getting older.

One of our close friends will turn 40 next month and we're looking forward to a murder mystery party for the big day. I've been assigned to dress up like a super model for my role. I *may* give up my Earth shoes and Bogs boots for the evening and really tart myself up for the fun of it. I'm even thinking about getting my hair and makeup done (over the top) since I don't really know how to do those types of things. We'll see if I go for it. We're not dressing up for Halloween this year (so far) so this will be our Halloween. Bill has been assigned to be a lifeguard and he's threatening to wear a Speedo to the party. That would be awesome!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A day at the beach

Milo and Marshall at the beach on Sunday.

Sorry for the delay in programming, we've had great weather here and Bill was gone all last week so I was busy with the dog and trying to keep the household running. We had a nice weekend together, out with friends Friday night and spent a long time at Home Depot on Saturday thinking about keeping up the economy with our spending. We didn't actually spend... yet. I think I'm chickening out but I would like to get french doors installed to open up to our back deck. Our current door is a piece of junk but it still works so that's why I'm struggling with it.

On Sunday it was around 70 degrees here so we went to the coast with some friends and had a great time at the beach. This is the nicest fall I've ever experienced here in Corvallis since I moved here seven years ago. Typically the rain washes away all the fall leaves and we hit winter hard. I saw some guys outside yesterday without their shirts on, it feels like spring.

Handsome Sequoia dog getting a sun tan.

It's supposed to start raining by the end of the week and it probably won't stop for a long time but I enjoyed the sun while it lasted!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Say it with a smiley face

My friend Gail put up an Obama sign and it was stolen so she went out and got another one and added her own sign to it:

It says, "If you steal my Obama sign again, I'll get over it. But you, my sticky-fingered friend, will always be an asshole." And she ends it with a smiley faced Obama.

Her husband Griz emailed the photo around and said I could share, I think it's absolutely hilarious. I hope her sticky-fingered friend gets the message!

Some things about infertility

Cassie giving me the "I'm trying to chill out so leave me alone look"

So I'm still trying to get pregnant. It's almost been a year since the last time I was pregnant (ended in miscarriage) and I can't say that I feel horrible or depressed about where I am right now but I don't feel right either. Things are just not right in my world because of all this.

Infertility is really a terrible thing to deal with and I try not to get worked up or obsessive about it. I'm actually much better than last year. A few things still bother me though so let me reveal to you some thoughts about dealing with people who are having fertility issues, from my perspective...

- Don't leave them out. I hate it when pregnant people leave me out of things because they think I can't handle it. I love my friends and I'm happy for them. It really hurts to be left out and I already feel like crap. Please, share your stories and if at all possible, don't be self conscience about it. I'm a person and a friend.

-Do not insinuate that people who pursue fertility treatment are somehow less in any way. I got pregnant when I was not on fertility drugs before and it really offended me when people asked if I was glad it happened without the drugs. Here's a news flash: I want to start a family. I don't care if it's with drugs or without. Keep your hang-ups to yourself. I take fertility drugs so obviously I don't disapprove of them. Seriously, keep it to yourself.

-The biggest one for me: people who outright say things like, "Oh, maybe infertile couples just aren't meant to reproduce..." like they are genetically inferior somehow. I think that is the rudest most insensitive thing you could say to someone who wants to start a family and can't. You know who shouldn't be able to reproduce? Crack addicts. But they can. As do thousands of other idiots who are a drain on society.

Just today I saw a news piece about women going to a retreat for yoga and acupuncture to treat infertility. They want them to stop eating grains and having dairy and to meditate. Because the crack whores were meditating in between shooting up when they got pregnant. It makes me mad that people try to tell desperate couples that they can somehow cure their fertility problems by relaxing and eating healthy when it's obvious that people get pregnant when their lives and bodies are under extreme stress.

That's enough ranting out of me for now. I did start to take it easy this week since I've been so busy this summer. Maybe I should just go get some crack.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bubba's first race!

Some friends put on a 5k walk/run and 12k running event this weekend and Bill courageously signed up for the 12k so I decided to walk Marshall on the 5k. The event was a fund raiser so I paid for Marshall to get his own race number and dressed him in a doggy tee so we could pin his number on him.

Marshall was more race ready than I expected and when the run started he wanted to take off with the leaders. I had to hold him back while his legs tried to power pull me into a sprint which caused me to laugh hysterically. Sunny started the walk with us and I'm sure she thought team Marshall and Erika were not going to make it to the finish in one piece. Once the runners were out of sight, Marshall calmed down but he did pull me past the walkers.

There was plenty of bush sniffing and a stop off in a ditch and we had a great time together. The best 5k experience I've ever had with my little buddy. He greeted all of the course volunteers and even had a sip of Heed (sports drink) at an aid station. I let him off the leash before the finish and he sprinted across, easily beating me.

I think Bill was happy to be finished with his event and we had a great time. At the awards ceremony, Marshall and Bill won their divisions. They called Marshall's name for a ribbon and he ran up there, his tail wagging his entire body. Everybody laughed and I think he was a hit at his first race.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mandatory PE for adults!

I opened the weekly faculty/staff newspaper this morning and was horrified to see a photo of myself in a swimsuit! OK, I wasn't horrified but I downloaded it for you and posted so you can see the scandalous photo, I'm in lane two, holding on for dear life.

The photo accompanied an article about the faculty/staff fitness program at Oregon State University. I didn't know this but it is one of two such programs offered in the US. What a shame, it is exactly the type of structured course offerings that adults need to get exercise. The program was started by my swim coach in 1984 and went from 10 class serving 100 participants to now offering 30 classes serving more than 800 participants.

We pay a fee each term for the class (I pay $45 a term for swimming) and there are a wide range of classes offered. I love it and I'm so grateful that I can walk one block on my lunch break to swim with a class. There are no excuses when it's this easy and I wish there were more options like this for people to take advantage of. There should be mandatory P.E. for adults, I think people would be a lot less stressed and would feel better too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The falling leaves drift by the window

"The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon Ill hear old winters song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall"

Are you in the mood for Nat King Cole? It's beautiful fall weather here and it makes me feel in love! Forget spring! There are more colors now then the summertime.

I took an easy day today, I went for a walk on my lunch break, stopped at the shoe store downtown, bought some gourmet chocolate for tonight's dessert, and took photos of leaves and fall trees.

If you have never heard "Autumn Leaves" please take a moment and listen to Ms. Eva Cassidy's version, you will become a life long fan, I guarantee it...

Monday, October 13, 2008

How Bill keeps me together

Bill's cat hat. You have got to know how to entertain yourself if you are going to live with me. Unless you like being crazy.

On Friday, I woke up at 6:30 am and immediately started working, I had to finish printing some t-shirts and get tribabe gear ready to hit the road. I worked until 2:30 pm and then we loaded the Jeep up and drove 8 hours south to the Tri Girl Tri near Vacaville, CA. It was a long day for me. I checked the weather forecast before we left and saw a severe weather warning for high winds in the area. The warnings were correct, on race day we were greeting with strong winds and ridiculous gusts. The swim was canceled but the race went on as a run bike run. We were not able to put up our canopy or clothing racks due to the wind and the lake was surrounded by dirt which was blowing absolutely everywhere.

I did not want to unload all of my new stuff that I had been working so hard on out into the elements. I wanted to leave. I have allergies to dust and I had two nights of 5 hours of sleep propping me up. It was cold, and I had a really bad attitude. Bill had to come up with a plan and fast so he parked the car against the wind and set up two tables in the shelter of the car and we put out as much inventory as we could in the plastic totes and waited for the race to get over.

The ladies flocked over after the race and we had about 1.5 hours worth of sales, enough to cover travel expenses and a little extra. I heard a lot of good feedback on the new designs I've been working on and that was what I needed to revive my energy.

Photo of Clear Lake, CA. Bill wanted to drive west to check out Clear Lake to see the the venue for the Triple T triathlon that will be held there next year for the first time. That meant over an hour of driving on windy, bumpy roads. I wanted to go back to the hotel and watch the Hawaii Ironman on the web but we pushed onward. By the way, I get car sick driving on windy roads so I said next to nothing for most of the day. I was able to keep tabs on the race via Bill's Blackberry but it wasn't the same as seeing the coverage.

We stopped for lunch and then started driving north to Redding, CA where we spent the night at a Best Western with wireless internet. Bill got take out dinner so I could shower and relax. I still feel dirty after having stood out in the wind Saturday morning and my sinuses are just not the same. The crud will come out eventually, perhaps I should go inhale some pool water? Sunday we got moving and started driving north, stopping off at Castle Crags State Park for views of the rocks and Mt. Shasta.

We made it home by 5:30 pm on Sunday, exhausted and maybe slightly relieved that the triathlon season is over for 2008. Well, except I have a local duathlon next weekend I'm setting up at...

Friday, October 10, 2008

from the road

Using Bills blackberry to post from the car. Super busy week! I finished a bunch of new product and now half way thru 8 hour car trip to Lake Berryessa in CA. BRUTAL weejk. Good news: had Carls Jr for dinner. Hey if its good enough for Paris Hilton!
Thanks to the tanking stock market Bill is talking Motel 6 again. I'm so pissed. :)
Triathlon tommorow then we'll see where we gi next!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Swim like there is no tomorrow

A preliminary look at the new shirt I am so excited about! These hooded long sleeve t-shirts are one of my best sellers at events and I wanted to do something special for a new design.

A few months ago I was putting the heat on myself to come up with new designs and I was trying to tap into what I was feeling about triathlon training and myself and a few fun designs came out of that discussion with myself. This first one is about realizing that I hold back in swimming because I have a run later or I rode my bike the day before or because I'm worried about injuring myself--there is always a reason to hold back. So this past summer I stopped holding back so much and I had a few breakthrough swims that I still mentally savor whenever I think of them.

I was browsing through some swimming quotes and saw one that really spoke to me: "Swim like there is no tomorrow" and I knew I had to make a shirt to inspire myself. For me, the waves represent the challenge and turmoil of the water but also the tranquility and joy I feel from swimming. Plus the waves look cool.

As you can see, the shirt has long sleeves and a long cut through the waist. I am wearing a size large in these photos, for your reference (if you are interested in ordering) I wear a size 6 pant right now and typically a size medium top so you can order up a size on this top without a problem. More info. about this t-shirt at More designs coming your way as I get them going! YEAH!!!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dude that's gross!

I woke up at 8:14 am this Monday morning and that's fourteen minutes after I'm supposed to be at work, so I rushed around, hurry hurry hurry and SMACK! I ran into the edge of the flooring that Bill is installing and messed up three of my toes. These toes are on the same left foot that I nailed a few weeks ago when I split my big toe open when we were camping.

Now I have one scarred and nasty looking big toe, two toes with minor cuts and finally, the fourth toe is bruised and possibly broken. I know you are thanking me for sharing this photo so YOU ARE WELCOME!

Here is what the flooring looks like so far, it looks good but it's a lot of "wood" so we'll need rugs soon before I lose my mind. Too late--I know!

Bill looking business-like but really he was checking fantasy football scores, eating pink frosting out of the can, and talking to his parents. Busted! Zoom in, he really is eating frosting! :) Love you honey!

We both worked all weekend and that was fine, the only money I spent all weekend was on coffee. Love that! I made some new stuff for that I will share tomorrow, I am REALLY excited about it!

Now... back to staring at my toes. Care to join me?

Friday, October 03, 2008

My scathing welcome back to students

The students are back at OSU and I can't wait to see some of my favorite returning characters...

Bearded kid in his early 20s. You will take him seriously, he has a beard. The beard indicates that he is in grad school. Behold the beard!

My other grad school favorite: elaborate scarf girl. She too must be taken seriously, she knows how to tie an scarf, elaborately! The more ethnic looking the scarf--the better! She wants to appear worldy, and better than you!

The under-dressed undergrad. It's 7:00 am and she's on the prowl. She should be going to class because she has none. Sorry for the offensive photo, I wish I were exaggerating.

Loud frat guy! It doesn't matter what he's doing... he's going to do it LOUD! He hasn't matured past that age where he had to be loud to get attention from his mommy so he's loud so you LOOK AT HIM! LOOK AT HIM!!! He's just as desperate as the his female counterparts, it's just in a different way.

Professor white guy. He works approximately 1 hour per day and is an expert at dawdling. Don't come by during office hours, he's asleep. Has been giving the same lecture for 20 years and prefers his teaching assistants deal with the pesky kids. PESKY KIDS!

The inspiration for the scathing post: I saw a middle-aged white woman walking around campus in a Mexican Pancho (serape) in the rain. Good grief.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Don't tell our friends!

There are occasions when I can't sleep, often times it's when I am on fertility drugs (every other month right now) and the only thing that gets me to sleep is the "Planet Earth" series narrated by Sigourney Weaver. The woman has the most controlled, soothing voice I've ever heard. The aesthetics of the cinematic filming sooth my mind and I drift off within 20 minutes of starting one of the shows.

The only problem is our TV is downstairs so when I can't sleep that means sleeping on the couch so I can get my TV night cap. I have a bulging disc in my upper back and arthritis to go with it so a night on the couch means waking up in pain. I wanted a TV in the bedroom. We've been browsing TVs at Costco for several months now and Bill put this one in the cart this past weekend, a 32 inch HD TV that fits nicely on my dresser. A special buy, we paid the same price as a 28 incher. Nice. I hope it helps with the insomnia.

Our Oregon (non-TV watching) friends will disown us if they see this so I'll just keep our bedroom door closed when they come over.

I am totally spoiled this year for my birthday, my parents visited, we got a gift certificate from a friend for the fancy restaurant in town, and Bill gave me a gift card to the spa. My in-law parents sent a check (thank you!) and I used part of it to buy a print at Fall Festival that I will hang in the bathroom. I couldn't ask for more which is so nice after four years of sacrifice while Bill was in school. Ho-rrraaaayyyy!